How Good Is ChatGPT at Writing Real-Estate Listings? OK, With ‘Cringe.’
- The real-estate copywriter Kasi Hyrapett estimates she’s written 5,000 listing descriptions.
- Insider asked Hyrapett to analyze ChatGPT write-ups of homes for sale in New York and California.
- She saw some glaring errors but thinks agents looking to save money will turn to the chatbot anyway.
When Kasi Hyrapett worked as a home-appraisal reviewer, she read about 20 real-estate listings a day.
She found them either too short, lacking character, or bombastic, overexaggerating mundane features. They rarely did what they were supposed to: take readers on a written tour of a home.
“They would often just make me shake my head,” she said.
So Hyrapett struck out on her own in 2014, founding her own real-estate-listings copywriting company, MLS Writer. She charges $160 and up for each write-up, which she tailors to her clients.
Nine years later, she estimates she’s written over 5,000 descriptions for agents local to her in Los Angeles.
The arrival of ChatGPT, an artificial-intelligence-powered bot that has attracted millions of users since its November launch, could signal a huge shift for her business. People have already used the tool to craft cover letters, get better at standardized tests, and boost productivity. Hyrapett told Insider she expected to lose a few real-estate-broker clients to the generative-AI tool, which — for just one example — allows a home seller or listing agent to plug in an address and get a free property description in seconds.
Insider asked ChatGPT to produce descriptions for an $875,000 home for sale in New York and a $5 million home for sale in California, then showed them to Hyrapett to grade.
The verdict was mixed. Hyrapett said some of ChatGPT’s expressions made her “cringe.” It used the sterile-sounding term “property,” for example, instead of “home.” But overall, she said she’s impressed with the technology and that it could help listing brokers looking to save a few bucks on copywriters like her.
She did say, however, that it’s important for listing agents to vet and edit whatever ChatGPT spit out. Simply copying and pasting what it produces, she added, would be the equivalent of using cellphone photos to market a home instead of professional images.
Here are Hyrapett’s critiques of the two ChatGPT-generated listing blurbs.
1. ChatGPT uses words like ‘boasting,’ ‘spacious,’ and ‘well-appointed,’ which are cliché and should be avoided at all costs
Insider had ChatGPT write a blurb about a six-bedroom, three-bathroom home in Yonkers, New York, a city about a 30-minute drive north of midtown Manhattan.
Hyrapett was not impressed. The description broke a cardinal rule of real-estate writing — describing the home as a “property,” which Hyrapett feels is too “transactional,” instead of a “home,” which evokes a warm, inviting feeling, she said.
When Hyrapett reviewed the listing, she called some of the words the chatbot used — including “boasting,” “spacious,” and “well-appointed” — cliché. These words, she added, make a house less enticing to buyers.
Instead, Hyrapett said, she prefers to use “offers” or “provides” instead of “boasts,” “generously sized” for “spacious,” and “thoughtfully designed” over “well-appointed.”
Finding unique words “inspires curiosity” in prospective buyers, Hyrapett said.
2. ChatGPT was good at ‘calls to action’ but lacked the knowledge to highlight a semifamous architect or the most important interior-design details
The best real-estate listings lure buyers with call-to-action phrases like, “Come start your new beginning, ” Hyrapett said.
The key is to be persuasive but not desperate, Hyrapett added.
For the Beverly Hills house that Insider asked ChatGPT to describe, Hyrapett was impressed that the bot included calls to action, including, “Discover the epitome of style and sophistication,” as the very first phrase and the ending line of, “Schedule a viewing today.”
But many of the chatbot’s sentences started with “the,” making for a boring and repetitive read, according to Hyrapett. A human editor, she said, would be able to take this template and add variety to the sentence structure.
Listings should also spotlight the best or most unique features of a home up front.
ChatGPT also didn’t highlight the architect, Vincent Appel, who’s been mentioned in Architectural Digest. An experienced broker or copywriter would be able determine that he’s a selling point of a property and include his name in the write-up.
A human would also be able to spot which desirable finishes — like wide-plank wood flooring or floating vanities — were worth highlighting, as opposed to touting run-of-the-mill ones, such as en-suite bathrooms, that don’t need to be called out.